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Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.05.2024 - Today
30 million euros for research into climate change feedbacks
30 million euros for research into climate change feedbacks
Climate change can accelerate due to feedback mechanisms: complex phenomena caused by climate change that in turn can further drive climate change. An example is the extra CO2 emissions from thawing permafrost. Research into the influence of feedback mechanisms in the long term has been ongoing, and modern climate change research is obviously happening as well, but the connection between the two has so far been underemphasized.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 22.05.2024
Seaweed forests are an overlooked component of oceanic carbon storage
Seaweed forests are an overlooked component of oceanic carbon storage
A groundbreaking study by an international team of researchers has revealed seaweed forests to be significant contributors to oceanic carbon storage. Their research estimates that the world's seaweed forests transport 56 million tonnes of carbon (between 10 to 170 million tonnes) to deep ocean sinks each year.

Environment - Innovation - 10.05.2024
When simply reusing solar panels beats recycling
When simply reusing solar panels beats recycling
Core changemakers wants to give used solar panels a second life. As the world steadily progresses towards a more sustainable future, recycling solar panels becomes increasingly relevant. However, in some cases, simply reusing old solar panels is better. CORE CHANGEMAKERS, once a student team at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and now evolving into a startup, is exploring the possibility of using old solar panels.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.04.2024
Residual waste from mushroom cultivation removes pollutants from water
Water can be purified using mushroom substrate: the mixture of fungal filaments and horse manure that remains after harvesting mushrooms. The substrate effectively decreases concentrations of pesticides and drugs in contaminated water. Utrecht researchers Brigit van Brenk , Han Wösten , and colleagues demonstrate this in a paper in the scientific journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Environment - 26.04.2024
Renewed efforts needed to reach international biodiversity goals
Renewed efforts are needed to reach international biodiversity goals, according to an international study involving scientists from Radboud University, published in Science. The study shows that climate change could be the main driver of biodiversity decline by the mid-21st century. The analysis was led by the German Center for Integrated Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and is the largest modeling study of its kind to date.

Environment - 25.04.2024
Good news for deltas: increase in sediment since 2000
When you build a dam on a river, less sediment can get to the sea, which makes deltas more susceptible to floods. This idea's been believed for a long time, however new research from Utrecht University shows that the amount of sediment in deltas has actually increased since 2000. This is good news for preserving deltas - like the Netherlands - from sea level rise.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.04.2024
First experimental proof for brain-like computer with water and salt
First experimental proof for brain-like computer with water and salt
Theoretical physicists at Utrecht University, together with experimental physicists at Sogang University in South Korea, have succeeded in building an artificial synapse. This synapse works with water and salt and provides the first evidence that a system using the same medium as our brains can process complex information.

Environment - 11.04.2024
Mangroves that can protect coastlines worldwide
High waves startle mangroves for days during an experiment at the Delta wave flume in Delft. Researchers from Deltares and TU Delft keep increasing the force on the trees. They test how strong the mangrove trees are under extreme wave conditions and what contribution they make to water safety. Mangroves are a crucial factor in the protection of tropical coastal areas.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.04.2024
FSC-certification of tropical forests proves beneficial for gorillas and elephants
FSC-certification of tropical forests proves beneficial for gorillas and elephants
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified timber harvesting areas in Gabon and Congo boast a greater abundance of larger mammals, such as leopards, gorillas, and elephants, than non-FSC forests. Utrecht University researcher Joeri Zwerts and colleagues conclude this based on 1.3 million camera trap images gathered in fourteen commercially exploited forests.

Life Sciences - Environment - 27.03.2024
Recently discovered bacterium holds promise for improved wastewater treatment
Recently discovered bacterium holds promise for improved wastewater treatment
The recent discovery of the comammox bacterium might prove pivotal in a new and improved approach to wastewater purification that will be more efficient according to research carried out by Pieter Blom. Mr Blom will receive his PhD on the subject from Radboud University on 4 April. Water treatment facilities remove nitrogen, among other substances, from wastewater before releasing it back into the environment.

Environment - 13.03.2024
Small rivers tell the story of thawing permafrost
What effect does climate change have on Arctic permafrost? Earth scientist Niek Speetjens conducted research in Canada and discovered that the small river systems provide a lot of insight into the thaw of permafrost. Permafrost, permanently frozen soil, is thawing due to climate change. This has consequences for water and carbon transport through river systems that flow into the sea from areas with permafrost.

Health - Environment - 12.03.2024
Chronic stress and inflammation linked to societal and environmental impacts in new study
Scientists, including Paul Verschure at Radboud University, hypothesize that as-yet unrecognized inflammatory stress is spreading among people at unprecedented rates and affecting our cognitive ability to address climate change, war, and other critical issues. From anxiety about the state of the world to ongoing waves of Covid-19, the stresses we face can seem relentless and even overwhelming.

Environment - 07.03.2024
Publication in Science: Loss of ecosystems incurs higher costs than previously estimated
Across the globe, animal and plant species along with their habitats are disappearing. With this loss, we also lose the 'services' they provide, such as water filtration or crop pollination. An international research team, including Sjak Smulders from Tilburg University, has proposed a new calculation approach to capture these future 'benefits' of nature.

Environment - 15.02.2024
Tropical rainforests are losing their resilience worldwide
Tropical rainforests are losing their resilience worldwide
Tropical rainforests hold a wealth of biodiversity but are globally approaching a critical point. The drastic decline is happening faster than expected, concludes an international research team. The team includes biologist Hans ter Steege, affiliated with Utrecht University and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 09.02.2024
Potential collapse of the Atlantic Ocean Circulation strongly affects European climate
Potential collapse of the Atlantic Ocean Circulation strongly affects European climate
Researchers from Utrecht University have successfully simulated the collapse of the large-scale ocean circulation in the Atlantic Ocean using a complex climate model, revealing severe global climate repercussions with Europe bearing the brunt. They published their findings in the scientific journal Science Advances today.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.01.2024
Destabilising interactions in the climate system: How tipping elements interact
Beyond 2°C of global warming, the risk of one climate tipping element triggering other tipping elements in the Earth's climate system strongly increases. Furthermore, most of these interactions are destabilising. This is the result of a new study by an international team of scientists, led by Anna von der Heydt from Utrecht University and Nico Wunderling from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Chemistry - Environment - 22.01.2024
New sensor detects chemicals that impair thyroid gland
In a study conducted at the University of Twente, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Open University of Israel, researchers have developed a novel approach to address the environmental challenges posed by perchlorate salts, which have been identified as persistent pollutants with potential impacts on human health.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 17.01.2024
Costs of scaring grass-eating barnacle geese often outweigh the benefits
Costs of scaring grass-eating barnacle geese often outweigh the benefits
At the current population sizes, the practice of scaring geese off pastures in the province of Friesland probably ends up costing more than it saves. Utrecht University ecologist Monique de Jager and colleagues from Wageningen University and Research, the University of Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) conclude this based on a model study , that was conducted as part of the Dutch contribution to European goose management.

Environment - 15.01.2024
As water becomes scarce, its quality often deteriorates
Drought and heatwaves result in severe economic losses. To reduce water scarcity, hydrologist  Michelle van Vliet  argues for a better understanding of the interplay between water use and water quality. Water scarcity is more than simply a physical lack of water. Water scarcity intensifies due to three main causes: reduced availability of water, increased water use, and deterioration of water quality which makes it unsuitable for certain applications or functions.

Environment - 11.01.2024
Biomaterials contribute substantially to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but are not yet climate neutral
Biomaterials contribute substantially to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but are not yet climate neutral
On average, bio-based products emit 45% less greenhouse gas emissions than the fossil materials they replace, according to research conducted by Radboud University, published in Nature Communications. At the same time, there is a large variation between individual bio-based products and more efforts are required to achieve climate neutrality.
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